(Contributed - by Joe Policy - 05/05/05)
A totally unique looking skill level 3 rocket designed by Shrox and sold by
FlisKits. It even includes ping pong balls as a design feature! It's a great
flyer and a rocket that people will take notice of at any launch.
The kit includes:
- 2 NCB-50AB nose cone, balsa
- 2 BT-50-18 body tube, 18"
- 1 BT-50-04 body tube, 4"
- 1 BT-20-0275 body tube, 2.75"
- 1 CPL-50-01 stage coupler
- 2 FSB-3-4-9 fin stock, 3/32" balsa
- 2 FSW-SHX01 laser cut fins, 3/32" balsa
- 1 PCP-16 16" parachute
- 3 PPB-01 ping pong ball
- 1 SE-M screw eye, medium
- 1 SLK-90-36 Kevlar
- 1 SC-2-24 elastic shock cord
- 1 SLCA-96 shroud line
- 1 TD-1-6 tape disk
- 1 LL-1-2 2" launch lug
- 1 LL-1-1 1" launch lug
- 1 EH-0275 engine hook
- 2 CRP-20-50 centering ring
- 1 EB-20 engine block
- 1 DCW-SHX01 decal sheet
- 1 FPS-SHX01 fin pattern sheet
- 1 INS-SHX01 instruction sheet
Typically fantastic instructions from FlisKits makes this Level 3 rocket and
interesting build. Although FlisKits has taken the unusual step of providing
laser cut fins for the curved upper fins, they still leave the builder with
plenty to do.
You first assemble the 18mm motor mount and there are no surprises here.
Next, you are told to cut holes in the 3 ping pong balls. The instructions have
you use the 4" BT-50 body tube to trace the outline of the first cut. You
then cut out the circle very carefully with a sharp hobby knife. After a light
sanding of the hole to deburr it, you then push the BT all the way into the
ball which will give you a faint outline with which to make the second cut. You
have the option to keep the 6 cut pieces to use in the design, I chose to
The 2 long body tubes are then joined together with the coupler. The
shock cord is mounted with the coupler for a strong connection. You then cut
out 9 fins and a jig brace from the balsa stock.
FlisKits has included a fin alignment jig that you must assemble yourself
from included parts. The jig ensures that both of the large fins are at a 15
degree angle. I found the jig very useful and it worked perfectly. I even saved
it since I have three other Alien8s to build.
At step 17, there is a typo that you need to be aware of. The instructions
tell you put glue on root edge #1 and glue that to the 4" warp pod tube.
However, the template clearly shows that root edge #1 should be attached to the
body tube instead. The template is actually correct, if you only follow the
instructions, the warp pod assembly will be swept back instead of forward. I
informed Jim Flis about the typo and I am sure that future kits will have this
The rest of the assembly is quite straightforward. You mount the fins and
the ping pong balls according to the directions. I added fillets to all the
fins and even around the ping pong balls to give a smoother finish. I am really
glad that FlisKits decided to include the laser cut fins for the large, curved
fins. They are what appears to be plywood and that would have been very
difficult to do with my little hobby knife.
I used two coats of Krylon dark gray primer with a 320 grit sanding in between.
There are lots of little nooks and crannies on this rocket, so sanding took
longer than normal. I then applied 2 coats of Audi Dragon Green Metallic spray
paint. I really like the auto spray paints, they go on smooth, do not run, and
dry so fast that you can put a second coat on 15 minutes after the first and
then top coat it in one hour! The face card shows a two tone paint job using
black and green, but my aliens prefer all green to match their skin.
There are decals included, 4 of which that are somewhat large - they are
for the curved fins. The instructions mention that you may want to cut the
large decals in half, but I had no problems applying them whole. Just take your
time as they are very thin and can easily break. After the decals dried, I
applied one coat of clear coat to seal everything up.
½ out of 5
First flight was with a B4-2, the smallest motor recommended. Thank goodness
for the short delay, because she did not fly very high. Parachute popped open
just after apogee and she came down in the grass with no damage. For the second
flight, I used a C6-5. Much better! Perfect flight with some weathercocking but
nothing serious. Parachute arrived just after apogee again and I had another
perfect landing. I had other rockets to launch so I did not get in more
flights, but I am impressed with how she flies and she will definitely be
spending more time in the air.
The 16" parachute was a perfect size for this rocket. Although I was
flying on a fairly calm day, the rocket came down with not too much drift and
neither too fast nor too slow. I like the Kevlar/elastic
combination, it always seems to hold up well.
out of 5
Aside from the little typo, this is a great kit. Take your time, build it
right, and you will have yet another FlisKit that will be the center of
attention. I hope that this is not the last collaboration between FlisKits and
Shrox. If this first kit is any indication as to what we can expect in the
future, I have my credit card ready and waiting!
out of 5
(Contributed - by Andy Miller - 01/03/05)
This is an over three feet long single staged rocket with a 16 inch plastic
This kit comes with two body tubes, one coupler, 5 balsa fins and three ping
pong balls to cut out. And that's just for starters! There are also two large
wing like fins. All of these parts have to be glued on precisely.
The shock cord attachment is a step above the typical Estes-style mount
from the coupler up, attached to elastic outside the tube. I will have to watch
on the tube top at launches I guess (to keep it from zippering).
The instructions were outstanding, very easy to follow, and well
illustrated. That said, this kit is not easy to build. No small wonder its
classified as a level 3 skill build. Included is a build-it-yourself jig to
attach two of the fins at the right angle, but the rest of the parts you are
left on your own more or less to get right. And trust me the bigger the fins,
the harder that is. This was my first skill level 3 kit and I did a decent job
but by no means a perfect job.
The process of painting and applying decals was straightforward: prep, sand,
seal, prime, and paint.
The decals were somewhat difficult to apply but I have some troubles with
out of 5
Both of the flights were were very straight despite the slight weather cocking
on the first flight due to wind. Altitude was between 350 and 400 feet on the
C6-5. I used a 12 inch parachute and recovery was perfect , walks were short.
All the extra fins and tubes, and nose cone all stayed on. This was a baked dry
corn field, so that says something for the quality of the materials.
The shock cord attachment is superior to paper glued to the tube wall, as what
is found with most small model rockets. I think the Kevlar
hanging out of the tube then having elastic attached there might risk cutting
the tube at the first launch, but that remains to be seen. I would have
preferred the Kevlar
to stay inside the tube with the flat elastic against the tube lip.
out of 5
Overall, I'd highly recommend this kit to anyone who is up to a skill level
three kit , but not to any one who is not. There is a lot of fin surfaces that
require alignment to be as close as possible. Also you will be asked to cut
holes in ping pong balls, sounds easy, it isn't. I'd rate this kit as a 5 out
of 5 overall, a real challenge for those tired of three fins and a nose cone.
out of 5